DIWK - Chapter five: "For a genius, that's just dumb"
My gif ✨
Words count: 14,7K
Warnings: Drug use, Spencer at his worst. Cursing, angst, CM usual content. Spoilers of Season 2 Episodes 16, 17, and 18.
Summary: Spencer is being a jerk with everybody at the BAU, and reader is having trouble dealing with his obvious problem. A case in New Orleans will bring the team to the edge.
A/N: I'm sorry! bear with this angst for another week, things will get a little better soon, I promise!
Chapter one | Chapter two | Chapter three | Chapter four
───※ ·❆· ※───
(Y/N)'s point of view
Reid took two weeks off after his abduction. Hotch forced him, and it was clear he needed it. Meanwhile, in the BAU, things were a little tense between me and JJ. I knew I hadn't been as professional as I should have been during the investigation, and I was expecting the repercussions.
That's why after the morning briefing, I asked Hotch if we could talk.
- "Listen, Hotch, I'm sorry I yelled when we were at the cabin,"- I started and kept my eyes on his, just to prove to him how sorry I was and how honest I was being.
- "(Y/L/N), there's..."
- "No, Hotch, I was out of place, I yelled at you, I yelled at JJ, I cried and..."
- "And yet, you did an amazing job finding Reid,"- he said and stood up. He walked from his desk and stood in front of me.
- "I am not expecting you to be perfect the whole time, (Y/N). I just want you to give us your best."
- "But I let the case affect me. I shouldn't let the case affect me."
- "(Y/N), it was Reid. From the second we found out he was missing, we all knew it was going to be a hard case for the team, especially for you."
I smiled at my unit chief, and somehow, he smiled too. Spencer always said he smiled with me a lot, but I never thought it was "a lot." Well, considering he never did, maybe the few times he did smile were a lot for him.
- "(Y/N)"- he said before I opened the door-" You should consider talking with JJ too"- I nodded and walked away.
I knew I had to, but I didn't want to. It was embarrassing to ask for an apology. After all, I yelled at her. But JJ was my friend, and she had been through hell. She deserved an apology.
I walked to her office and knocked on the door. She looked from the files she was reading and almost jumped.
- "Hey,"- I whispered and showed her a cup- "I made you an apology coffee for yelling at you."
The only way I knew how to deal with awkward circumstances was by trying to make a joke of it. That's my coping mechanism.
- "You don't need to apologize, (Y/N),"- she said as I walked over and gave her her coffee.
- "I do actually, 'cos I really feel like shit. I shouldn't have yelled at you or blamed it on you. I was too nervous and too scared, and I need to..."
- "(Y/N), really"- she interrupted me and smiled- "I know you didn't mean to hurt me, you were just nervous for him. We all were... and now he is back, and everything is ok."
I looked at her and tried to read her. I don't know why I felt she was hiding something from me.
- "I was out of place, JJ. No matter how worried I was, I should have never yelled at you, and I'm sorry."- she smiled and stood up. I wrapped my arms around her and whispered "Sorry" again.
- "It's ok (Y/N). I know you were just desperate to find him."
- "Thank you... but next time I'm out of place, you can just yell at me back or something"- she chuckled and shook her head.
- "You weren't out of place. You are always going to protect Spence."
- "Yes, I will, always, no matter what"- she just stared, and I smiled at her.
I didn't overthink her words until years had passed. I knew no matter what, I would always do my best to protect Spencer. I knew he was my best friend, and I would do no matter what to have him in my life. There was something about him and how he made me feel when we were together, which I found extremely addictive. I was the happiest when I was with him, even when we were working, catching serial killers, surrounded by death.
- "Hello honey bunny, it's me again. I'm almost done with my paperwork, so please put on some pants 'cos I've got some amazing chicken tandoori for dinner today."
It was Wednesday. I left Reid yet another voice message 'cos he hadn't picked up the phone for me that day. And though I was worried he wasn't answering my calls, a part of me thought it was completely natural. He had to be sleeping. After all, he had been kidnapped and tortured.
I had been taking him dinner every day of his leave. I wanted to make sure he was eating, and I wanted to put an eye on him, see if he was in a good mood. If he needed to talk. If he felt ok. If he was a functional human being. I worried about him all day long. I was glad those days we were working locally, and no case took us from the city.
I knocked on his door later that night, and it took him at least five minutes to answer. He was in his pajamas, dark rings under his eyes, and his hair was a mess.
- "Sorry, were you still sleeping?"- I whispered and cut him a tiny guilty smile- "I called you earlier..."
- "Hey... yeah..."- he yawned and opened the door- "Sorry, I've been..."- but he didn't continue talking.
I walked into his kitchen and left the take-out bags on the counter. Everything was exactly like I had left the day before when I had brought him dinner and something to eat for breakfast and lunch.
- "Spencer? did you eat today?"- I asked, but he didn't reply- "Honey?"
I walked back to the living room and found him lying on the couch, nearly falling asleep again.
- "Spencer? are you ok?"
- "Yeah, I'm just... you know, I feel like I haven't slept in years... I'm so tired, and when I close my eyes, all I can see is Tobias's face torturing me..."
I sat on the floor next to him and ran my fingers through his hair. Finally, he opened his eyes and just looked at me.
- "You are home now, you are safe"- my voice was a whisper. I was afraid I could scare him. Spencer looked so helpless lying there, still scared.
- "I tell you what, let's eat, and then you can go to bed, I'll go home, and I'll let you sleep until tomorrow, ok?"- he just nodded but didn't move.
- "What's for dinner?"
- "Your favorite."
When I left that night, I had the feeling there was something Spencer wasn't telling me. I had never seen him like that. But at the same time, I could really understand he was feeling like shit. He had been through an awful situation. So, of course, he was going to feel like shit.
I did the same every night the two weeks Reid was on leave. And I found a different Spencer each night. Sometimes he was sleepy. Sometimes he was happy, chatty. And the last day, he was moody. You don't know Spencer until you've seen him mad. He has a whole different personality hidden, and it only comes out when he is angry.
- "I can take care of myself, you know,"- he said as soon as he opened the door. So I just stood there, confused, trying to understand what I had done wrong.
- "Hello to you too"- Spencer didn't reply. Instead, he just walked back to his couch and grabbed the book he was reading.
- "I'm not hungry."
- "Fine, you don't have to eat right now. I'll just leave this here until you feel like tasting this amazing pad thai."
I looked around the kitchen. Just like every day, everything was exactly like I had left it the night before. I was sure Spencer wasn't eating anything the whole time he was alone.
- "I brought one for myself. You don't mind if I eat? I'm starving."
- "Do whatever you want,"- he mumbled and continued reading.
Until that day, Spencer had never talked to me like that. It was shocking. I didn't know what to do, a part of me wanted to storm out, and the other just wanted to wait for him to apologize. So I sat at the table with my pad thai, a book and just ate in silence. Alone.
Spencer didn't say a word for at least half an hour.
- "Ok, I'll leave then,"- I whispered after cleaning my dishes- "See you tomorrow at work."
- "Yeah, tomorrow"- he simply replied and didn't even take his eyes from the book.
- "Hopefully, tomorrow, you won't be a dick."
Spencer's point of view
After two weeks at home, I was out of Dilaudid. That Sunday, I started stressing out as soon as I finished the last bottle. I could feel the anxiety growing inside of me, even when I was still pretty high. I wasn't going to get another dose until the next day. I had to get a prescription or a dealer.
I wasn't really thinking straight about it at that point. I didn't consider myself an addict. I had been using it for just a week or so. I could leave it whenever I wanted to. Just that I didn't want to leave it, 'cos I felt I needed a little support to deal with everything going on.
It was so annoying having (Y/N) over that day. I just wanted her to leave. I hated how much she cared about me 'cos I knew it was over pity, not love. She felt pity that I was a useless kid who couldn't even cook for himself. But that useless kid was going to get himself his own dose of Dilaudid, no matter what.
After so many years at the FBI, it wasn't so hard to find a dealer. You knew the streets. You just had to go there and find one who could get you what you wanted. And surprisingly, Dilaudid was more popular than I imagined.
I waited a few minutes after (Y/N) left, grabbed my jacket, and got out there to find my next dose of joy. I didn't feel bad or guilty. Everybody has a thing, I guess. And it wasn't like it ruled my life. I just needed it for a few more days until I felt better.
I carried my gun but left my batch back home. I took my car and drove to the neighborhood I knew was the easiest to find a dealer. I waited for a while, parked around the close to a local bar until I found what I was looking for.
Somehow, I didn't find it hard walking over and getting my drug. I wasn't embarrassed or scared. Or even nervous. All I wanted to do was hold that bottle in my hands as quickly as possible, go back home, and put the needle in my vein. As simple as that.
I'm guessing that's what being an addict is all about.
- "You are here!!"- Garcia yelled as soon as I reached my desk. She was waiting with Morgan and ran to hug me.
I didn't really want a hug that minute but accepted it 'cos she looked excited, and I didn't want to break her heart. I was still a little high from the night before, so I was feeling pretty good. I could handle some physical contact.
- "We missed you so much! I baked you cookies!"
- "Hey, pretty boy! how are you feeling?"
- "I'm ok, how have you been?"- I left my bag on the chair and waved at Morgan.
- "We are all good, ready to go back to the game?"- I knew I wasn't, but of course, I lied.
I took a look around the bullpen. (Y/N) and Prentiss were at the kitchenette making coffee. I had the feeling I had been a little bit of an asshole the day before with my best friend, but I wasn't sure if it had been just in my mind or if I had said something nasty to her. So, after a few minutes of hesitation, I grabbed the cookie box and walked over.
She was alone. Emily was laughing at something Derek had said. He was flirting, and I'm not sure she knew. (Y/N) looked at me and crossed her arms on her chest. Not a good sign.
- "I'm... sorry?"- I whispered and looked at her
- "I was grumpy yesterday, and I might have said something I didn't mean... and I'm sorry,"- I stuttered, like the nerd I have always been, and opened the box of cookies, offering her one.
- "Garcia made you those," - she said and sipped her coffee.
- "But I wanna share them with you"- (Y/N) raised an eyebrow and looked into my eyes.
- "Are you ok?"
Such a simple question. Such a hard answer.
- "Yeah, I'm ok... But, I'm still having some trouble sleeping... nightmares"- that was true.
- "And how was the pad thai?"- I didn't even eat it.
- "It was good, I liked it"- she nodded and sighed- "(Y/N), I am honestly sorry I was an asshole with you."
- "It's ok, honey"- her words were a sweet whisper that made me chill- "Just don't do it again"- I shook my head and kept my eyes on her.
- "Welcome back, Reid,"- Hotch said and tapped on my back- "We need you in the conference room in five minutes."
And just like that, I was back to work.
During the morning briefing, I could hear JJ and Hotch talking about the case we had that week in Westchester county. There were suspicions of hate crimes, 'cos all the girls were afro American. But I couldn't really concentrate, though I looked at the pictures and did my best to stay focused. I ate a few cookies. Bit my nails. Sipped my coffee. But all I could see was Tobias dead on each picture of the case.
And suddenly, I started craving that needle in my vein. Just a little to go through the day.
I found it hard staying still, so I ate another cookie, sat straight on my chair, scratched my arm, and rubbed my hands against my face. I knew I was moving too much, but I couldn't really stop. Did I have time for a little fix before we head off to New York?
An SSA getting high in the FBI bathroom. That was all I could think of. Was that what I wanted to turn into?
I felt (Y/N)'s eyes on me and turned to her for a second. I remember holding my breath as I stared at her. Her brown hair was pulled up in a ponytail that day. She wasn't a fan of that hairstyle but wore it when she felt she needed to look more professional. I remember telling her I like her hair loose the most, and she told me she likes my hair when it was longer. I stopped cutting my hair that day.
She just looked at me, her eyes into mine. I was trying to read her, and all I could see was that she was doing the same.
- "Wheels up in twenty,"- Hotch finally said, and everybody stood up. (Y/N) grabbed her things and walked back to her desk. She was still mad at me, clearly. Maybe I had been worse than I remembered.
- "Hey, so..."- I stood next to her desk and smiled awkwardly while she grabbed her go-bag and turned to me.
- "I thought this weekend we could go to... go to the new bookstore you, you, you told me about."
I started stuttering as soon as she looked at me. And she didn't reply, so I just continued talking.
- "And maybe I can buy you lunch or dinner, or both"- I smiled awkwardly, but she didn't even move a muscle.
- "I owe you. You fed me for two weeks."
- "And you barely ate what I brought over"- I frowned, feeling a little busted- "Spencer, I'm worried about you"- she was standing so close to me, I could smell her shampoo.
- "Don't be,"- I whispered and looked down at my shoes- "I'm ok now."
- "Are you?"- I nodded and felt her hands rubbing my arms sweetly and carefully. I couldn't help it and raised my eyes to meet hers. My heart skipped a beat as she looked at me so worried, I felt guilty.
- "I've been better, but I promise, if anything horrible happens, you'll be the first to know,"- I whispered and looked at her. I was full of shit.
- "Swear?"- (Y/N) asked softly, and I nodded immediately.
- "I swear."
No, I wasn't ok, of course, and I'm sure it was clear for anyone to see in the days to follow, 'cos suddenly everybody was treating me like I was broken. Sure, I was. But I didn't want to be treated like such.
(Y/N) sat next to me in the jet. That made me feel better. We went through the case files and analyzed the threat note one of the victims had received. Putting my head on the work always makes me feel better. My job and books are my security blanket.
- "We see Ken with you, and it makes us sick. Take care to stop this now, or you will pay. If you tell anyone about this, you will pay,"- I read out loud and frowned.
- "Strange, it doesn't seem real,"- (Y/N) said as soon as I was done.- "First of all, the use of "we" in a threat this direct it's almost always bogus."
- "One individual trying to diffuse responsibility,"- Emily added, nodding.
- "Also, the message itself seems contradictory. On the one hand, "take care to stop this now, or you will pay." Presumably, they want them to stop seeing each other. But then, on the other hand, they don't want them to go public with it."
(Y/N) finished talking, and I smiled, looking at her. The whole team was nodding at her words. Gideon had to know by then she was brilliant. 'Cos she was, and I wanted him to acknowledge it. I didn't want them to hate each other.
- "The point of hate crimes is to increase publicity, not decrease it. It's like terrorism,"- Hotch added.
- "An effective threat lets everybody know that they are in danger if they do this behavior. The author would want Sandra to tell people about the note"- (Y/N) continued explaining. I just closed the file and looked at her. She was saying everything I wanted to say.
- "Doesn't sound like a guy who's actually prepared to kill,"- JJ said.
- "Actually, it doesn't sound like a guy at all"- (Y/N) looked at her and explained- "Take care to stop this" implies empathy. I mean, "Take care," males don't use this type of language"- she sighed and looked at the team.
- "At least not when they are trying to threaten somebody. This message was clearly written by a female, and based on the lack of psychological sophistication, I'd say it's most likely an adolescent."
- "You think a girl killed these kids?"- JJ asked her in shock, clearly doubting everything (Y/N) had just said.
- "I think a girl wrote this note,"- my best friend simply replied.
- "Let's call that mystery number one,"- Gideon said. Morgan looked at me and raised an eyebrow.
- "You are awfully quiet, pretty boy"- and I simply shrugged.
- "(Y/N) said everything I was thinking. She is right, a girl wrote this note, and it doesn't mean it's the same person who committed those crimes."
(Y/N)'s point of view
It was clear there was something wrong with Reid. But after that morning, I decided I wouldn't ask anymore. I was just going to see. See if I could crack his mind and find out what it was. It wasn't the trauma or the clear PTSD. There was something there. Something that made him paler, the ring under his eyes darker. He kept fidgeting the whole time, scratching his arms. He would sometimes disappear, holding his satchel as if his life depended on it.
There was something wrong with Spencer. And by the look in his eyes, Gideon knew it too.
The next couple of weeks, I didn't know which Spencer I would find each time I talked to him. He was grumpier each day. He would work as good and as fast as always, but his humor was a mess. You could tell he wasn't sleeping, and he wasn't eating properly. And each time I knocked on his door, I didn't know what was going to happen.
- "(Y/L/N), can you come over for a second?"- there was a deep awkward silence in the bullpen after we all heard Hotch calling me to his office. I just nodded and stood up, trying to figure out if I had done something wrong in the lastest days. But I couldn't think of anything. I did my best.
- "Please, sit down,"- Hotch said as soon as I closed the door behind my back. Gideon was there, sitting on a couch, and Aaron pointed at the one next to him.
- "Is this because I laughed at Anderson's tie the other day? I'm sorry, I know it was out of place, but I apologized to him, and everything is fine."
- "We need to talk about Reid"- Gideon went straight to the point. I just held my breath and nodded.
- "Have you talked to him about what's going on? We know you are his closest friend, and we are worried he is not ok."- Hotch was talking like a father, not like a boss.
- "He is in denial"- I sighed and closed my eyes, defeated- "I've tried to find out what is happening, 'cos it's not just the abduction, there is something else there."
I made a pause and looked at them. They were worried sick, just as I was. It didn't even need to profile them.
- "But the only thing I can think of is..."- the three of us stared at each other in silence. We all knew it- "You are thinking the same as we are"- and they nodded in silence- "Dilaudid?"
- "We don't know what it is, but he has a problem, it's obvious,"- Hotch said and looked at me. I could tell he was worried sick.
- "It's the only thing that makes sense to me. Tobias used it, and maybe he gave it something while they were in the cabin."
- "You didn't notice anything strange before that?"
- "No, Hotch, before that abduction, he was just Reid, not whoever he is right now..."
I never thought I would end up talking about my fears of Reid using drugs with the chief unit and the best profiler on earth. But there I was. And I was desperate for their help.
- "What are we going to do?"- it was the only thing I could ask, 'cos it was the only thing I wanted to know.
- "We are not going to report him,"- Gideon quickly replied- "Strauss would fire him right away, and we all know the kid just needs help. He ain't no junkie."
- "Should we make an intervention or..."- I didn't know how to finish that line. They looked at each other and simply shook their heads.
- "We'll give him a couple of weeks. We are hoping he is going to reconsider what he is doing on his own."
- "And if he doesn't?"- I had to ask, 'cos it was what I feared the most.
- "Then we'll intervene"- Hotch sentenced and stood up- "I know you are worried, and I trust you'll keep a good eye on him."
- "Of course."
- "And don't let this get in the way of work, his, yours, and the team, ok?"- I nodded at Hotch and stood up.
- "If there's anything you need to talk about, I am here,"- Aaron said and looked me in the eyes- "I am worried about him, just as much as you are."
- "Thank you,"- I whispered and walked out.
Spoiler alert: shit got way worse before it started getting better.
The next morning we gathered at the conference room to analyze the case we were called in. We were all there, except for Reid. And neither Hotch nor Gideon looked happy. We stared for a second, and I shook my head. I had no idea where he was. But he was never late. In fact, he was always the first one to arrive. I had called him earlier, but it went straight to voicemail. So far, I had nothing.
- "This is Huston's fifth ward"- JJ explained and showed us the images of the crime scene on the screen and proceeded to explain.
- "It accounts for a large percent of the city's growing homicide rate due to gang violence and a bustling narcotics trade. Although in the last 48 hours there have been three distinctive murders in the ward."
- "Distinctive how?"- I asked, trying to find more info in the file JJ had given me.
- "Three men, three different socioeconomic groups. All killed on the street with their necks snapped. There appears to be no other injury, and there's no apparent connection between the victims or motive."
We were all in silence, reading and thinking, when suddenly, Spencer walked in.
He was completely wrecked. All his clothes were wrinkled, and his hair was messy. He actually looked like he could use a shower, so he had obviously overslept. He kept sipping his coffee cup and walking slowly to his chair.
We all looked at him in silence. Morgan and Emily were shocked to see him like this. Don't get me wrong, so was I, but somehow at that point, I was waiting for something like this to happen. Maybe it was the warning we needed to make our intervention.
- "The ward's detectives are inundated with homicides. Gang violence is a big problem"- JJ continued explaining the case, and I guess we all pretended not to see the big pink elephant in the room.
- "Shootings, armed robberies, it's an everyday occurrence. But this type of street attack is new to them."
I couldn't take my eyes from Spencer. He was fidgeting on his hair, moving constantly, and his eyes were fucking lost. He was high. It was crystal clear. How on earth could he get to work under the influences of whatever it was he was taking? I wanted to slap him. Worst. I wanted to beat the shit up to him.
- "Could it be gang related?"- Emily asked, and part of my focus went back to the case- "Maybe some new type of initiation rite?"
- "The gangs in the ward use guns"- JJ explained- "In fact, no known gangs exhibit this type of M.O."
- "What about dope?"- the words just slipped my lips, and I immediately looked at Spencer as I continued talking- "These guys come up with pretty freaky ways of killing the competition to get their message out."
Reid looked at me and didn't move a muscle for a second. I raised an eyebrow and finally turned to JJ, 'cos she turned to me and continued talking about the case.
- "Yeah, but it just doesn't seem to be any connection between the victims and the drug world."
- "Homeless man, a construction worker, security guard"- Gideon numbered the victims and shook his head. It didn't make sense- "Three dead men and no witnesses."
- "We are looking for a homicidal serial killer in a neighborhood populated by criminals,"- Hotch announced and closed the file.- "The challenge will be separating him from the rest."
- "We have no evidence. No apparent interaction between the unsub with the victims pre or post mortem and an indistinguishable M.O"- Reid's voice was annoyed, and everybody noticed 'cos they looked at him confused- "Should be simple."
That wasn't Spencer. That was an asshole with his face.
- "Wheels up in twenty,"- Hotch announced and stood up. I waited if he called Reid to his office, but he didn't. I could understand it was time to focus on the case, but we couldn't work with a drugged profiler, right?
- "Everything ok?"- I asked Spencer when I stood next to his desk, holding my go-bag, ready to leave the office.
- "Why wouldn't it be?"- he didn't even look at me when he talked.
- "'Cos you were late for work for the first time since I started working in the BAU."
- "It was going to happen eventually. Everybody is late for work every once in a while."
Reid finished whatever it was that he was doing on his desk and walked away from me. Just like that. It was clear that it wasn't going to be an easy day. And that wasn't my best friend.
When we were on the plane, I sat as far from him as possible. I was actually next to Gideon and Hotch. I felt like I needed their support at that moment. Mostly 'cos I didn't want to snap in front of Reid, and I knew they would hold me back.
Derek walked to me in the jet while we analyzed the victims and gave me a cup of coffee. I bet he could tell there was something wrong. I smiled and whispered thank you, and decided to focus on the case, 'cos that was what mattered the most that minute.
- "Let's see if any of the victims frequented the same stores or sites,"- Hotch said, going through the files again.
- "He used blitz attacks, which means he most likely lacks the interpersonal skills"- finally Spencer said something useful related to the case- "He needed to coerce his victims into coming close. And he also used the element of surprise, which means he may have stalked his victims prior to killing them."
- "Well, if that's the case, I wanna go back to the crime scenes to see where he may have been hiding,"- Morgan said and looked at me- "Are you in, pretty girl?"
- "Count me in,"- I answered and smiled. I was glad to be paired with Derek, 'cos I didn't feel like being with Spencer that day.
- "I want to see the neighborhood for myself,"- Gideon added.
- "The rest of you will go to the precinct and set up shop,"- Hotch commanded.
- "I'll map out the area and see if I can find any places the victims would have visited in the neighborhoods,"- Reid said and looked at me.
- "Good, maybe we can find a connection between them. I'll help you with that"- the way Spencer turned to Emily after she said that was unknown. He was upset she had offered her help. What the fuck?
- "I can handle it,"- he answered coldly, and the silence on the jet was instant. And awkward. I looked at my best friend in shock as Hotch tried to keep his cool.
- "I wasn't suggesting that you couldn't"- Emily excused herself, but Reid was still mad somehow.
- "You know what "I'll help you with it" means?"- and before he kept talking, Hotch interrupted him and mandated.
- "Reid, Prentiss will help you with the geographical profile and victimology."
- "Fine,"- Spencer answered and looked down at the file again.
That wasn't my friend. That was a down-water version of him. Both Gideon and Hotch looked at him and didn't say a word. The heavy silence hung between us for a while. Prentiss looked at me, not getting what was wrong with Reid, and I tried to smile at her and make her feel better. I don't think I could anyway.
- "Do you know what's wrong with Reid?"- Prentiss, Morgan, and JJ walked to me as soon as we stepped off the jet. They were puzzled by his behavior, and I couldn't blame them.
- "He is going through..."- I paused my words and started over- "He is not doing..."- I stopped and started for the third time, making my best to sum up what was happening.
- "He is fucked up."
That was the best I could do to explain what was happening.
- "Please, don't take it personally"- I looked at Emily with pleading eyes- "I know I'm not the one who should apologize, but he is clearly not taking the abduction's effect pretty well, and he refuses to go to therapy."
- "We are all worried for the kid,"- Morgan said as we all walked to the SUV. Reid was walking ahead of us, and it felt he just wanted to get as far from us as possible.
- "Yeah, I know... just bear with him, please."
Now that I think about it, I don't know why I was apologizing for his behavior. I guess 'cos I knew he wouldn't. And also, there was a part of me that felt guilty. I felt I wasn't doing anything to help him. I felt I was letting him sink.
Spencer's point of view
I don't know how I didn't get fired that day. Or in the days to follow. I was acting like an asshole, and I know it now. Back then, I was out of myself. I couldn't help it. I was trying to quit, but it was too hard. I couldn't take it. My whole body was craving for a little fix. The last one, just one more. That's what I kept telling myself. So I kept using, and I kept trying to quit again.
Those days were hell. The case in Huston showed the worst of me, I think. I even had a meltdown in the police station 'cos there was too much noise. Can you believe that? I lost it 'cos there was a construction site outside, and the noise bothered me.
Hotch raised an eyebrow as he saw my reaction, and I got it in a second. He knew. Then why wasn't he doing anything? I shook away those thoughts from my head and tried to focus on the case again. But, of course, things weren't going to be easy.
- "Let's get a list of residents who've been kicked out of their homes by the gentrification. Reid, you and Prentiss go check the shelters."- Gideon said, and I clenched my fist immediately. I didn't want to work with anyone that day. Why were they forcing me?
- "Yeah, we are on it"- Emily stood up right away and obviously, met my annoyed eyes- "Unless you are ok with that, Reid?"- I swear, I hated her.
- "I'm fine with that"- I spit the words and walked out the station with her.
All I kept thinking was how long until I reached my room to get high again. And when it started affecting my job, that's when I first got worried. Maybe Dilaudid wasn't something I could handle on my own.
The fact I was stuck with Prentiss wasn't even the worst part of my day. The fact I had to go out there and talk to people, ask questions, read their body language, and take mental notes of everything they said, was annoying. I wanted to get the fuck out there. Just like that. I swear I was doing my best to do my job, but my body and mind weren't letting me concentrate. I just wanted to end with the day and be alone.
That's why when we were at the shelter, I tried to make the interview as fast and short as possible.
Emily and I talked with one of the administrators of the shelter. It was packed, just as we thought it'd be. All the homeless losing their place on the street didn't have anywhere to go.
- "It looks like you have your hands full"- Emily pointed out the obvious and started annoying me right away.
- "With the demolitions in the projects and the abandoned buildings, there's no place else for people to sleep."
- "Well, thank god there are people like you who take the time..."- but I didn't have time for Emily's bullshit.
- "Do you have a list of everyone who comes through here?"- I asked to end with the senseless conversation.
- "Uh... well we have a sign-in sheet."- Angie answered, confused- "But we don't force anyone to sign in if they don't want to. Some who don't even use their real names"- she paused and smiled- "Elvis eats here a lot."
- "We would appreciate any lists you have"- finally, Emily cooperated with the investigation.
- "Have you noticed anyone who acts unusually aggressive towards the other residents?"- I went straight to the point.
- "What is this about?"
- "A series of murders in the area. The perpetrator may be a homeless man. Maybe someone who stays here. He may even be in this room as we speak."
- "My god, Reid!"- I know Prentiss wanted to smack me. But I didn't care.
- "Have you noticed anyone who acts paranoid or displays explosive, unprovoked bursts of violence. More than just pushing and shoving? I mean, someone who really tried to harm others."
- "There are territorial fights over food and places to sleep. The nurse treats people for minor injuries all the time. But no one is seriously hurt."
- "If anyone does come to mind, give us a call"- I gave Angie my card and said goodbye. I needed to get out of there.
I know. I was harsh. But to be fair, she had to know she might actually face a psychopath any minute, and she had to be alert. Of course, Prentiss didn't agree with me, 'cos the second she found me outside the shelter after talking with Angie, she started arguing.
- "There's a high presence of mental disorders with the homeless,"- I said as soon as I saw her, but, of course, she didn't care about the facts.
- "What the hell was that in there?"- she nearly yelled at me. I just looked at her, annoyed, and crossed my arms on my chest.
- "He may even be in this room as we speak? We have nothing to support that!"
- "We are investigating a serial homicide. Should I have pretended there's no danger?"
- "We just left that woman potentially afraid of every man who walks into this shelter!"
- "Again, until we find this unsub, how is that a bad thing?"- she looked at me in disbelief, like he couldn't understand why I was telling her the truth.
- "What's the matter with you?"
- "What do you mean what's the matter with me?"
- "I have never seen you act like this"- and that just sealed the deal for me. I hated Emily that day.
- "Oh, really? on! in the months that you know me, you have never seen me act this way?"- the sarcasm in my voice was obvious, as well as the frustration in my voice- "No offense, Emily, but you don't really know what you are talking about, do you?"
She looked at me, shocked, and didn't say another word. I just walked away from her and decided to take a cab back to the police station. I didn't even want to be in the same SUV as her.
Why was I mad at Prentiss? I don't know. I think I was 'cos she was still acting as the new kid, always cheerful and willing to help. I guessed she could be my punchball. She wouldn't mind. She was trying to please everybody, after all.
Lucky for me, we were able to finish that case quickly. The next morning, everything was solved, and though our unsub was dead, I was glad we were on our way home. However, I was sad about our killer. He meant no harm. He was having a psychotic break due to his time serving the country in Afghanistan. He thought we were at war. He wanted to save people and saw the victims as possible threats. He didn't mean to kill innocents. He was just... not himself anymore. I could understand that.
- "Hey"- (Y/N) walked over me when we landed that night- "Do you need a ride home?"
- "No, thanks,"- I answered immediately and grabbed my satchel tight- "I think I'll take the subway."
She looked at me and bit her lips for a few seconds, walking next to me. Until she just grabbed my arm and forced me to stop.
- "What the hell? (Y/N)?"
- "Listen, Spencer, I know what's going on, and I want to help you. Can you please talk to me!"- I furrowed my brows and clenched my jaw. Did she know about Dilaudid? How? Why?
- "I don't know what you are talking about,"- I muttered and freed my arm from her hand.
- "Fine, you don't wanna face it! just know this: I know what you are going through, and I am here to help you."
- "Really, (Y/N)? you know what I'm going through?"
My heart was racing, and my palms were sweaty. I didn't want to be there, and I didn't want to fight my best friend. But I just needed to go back home and get fucking high. And she was in the way.
- "Because as far as I remember, you are not the one who got abducted and tortured for four days just a few weeks ago."
- "Seriously, Reid?"- she grunted and crossed her arms on her chest, just like I did- "You think you can play the pity card on me? so 'cos I wasn't kidnapped this month, I don't get what the fuck you are going through?"
- "What the fuck do you want me to say? you just don't get it, and that's it."
I turned around and walked away from her. I knew I was hurting her, but I didn't want to talk. I didn't want to tell her what was going on. And most of all, I really needed to get home.
- "Fine, Reid, do what you want!"- she grabbed my arm and pulled me again- "Go home and fucking get high!"
- "What the fuck are you talking about?"- and I denied everything right away.
- "Don't pretend you don't know, 'cos you are crystal clear to me, Spencer. Whatever it is that you are doing, you can talk to me! I am your friend! I wanna help you!"
- "You don't know what you are talking about."
That was all I could say. I saw her eyes tearing up, so I turned around and ran from her. I literally ran. I didn't want to hear her cry. I didn't want to talk to her again. I just needed to get home and get fucking high. Reality had turned into something I could barely face sober. As simply and hurtful as that.
(Y/N)'s point of view
I didn't take Spencer's words personally 'cos I knew he was craving, and he would do and say anything to get to his house and get high. He might even not wait to get home. And I was worried sick. So I turned to the one person I could talk about this, no questions asked.
- "So, tell me what's the matter, nugget?"- Frank and I sat on my couch, drank a few beers, and after a while dancing around the subject, he pushed me to talk.
- "I'm worried about Spencer."
- "Doc? what is it?"
- "He is using"- Frank turned to me in shock- "Yes, I know."
- "How? When? Why?"
- "Remember I told you he was kidnapped and tortured? Well, the guy who had him started injecting him Dilaudid, or at least that's why I'm inferring, 'cos he has been using something that's definitely not pot or coke, for the lastest weeks."
Frank looked at me like I was insane. I know he kept thinking it was impossible someone like Reid would do such a thing, but I could actually understand why he might do it. His life had been shitty. He found an escape from the pain. I just wished it was something that didn't hurt him as drugs did.
- "He is vanishing, Frankie,"- I whispered and sighed. I was trying my best not to cry. He wrapped an arm around my shoulders and moved me closer to him until he was able to kiss the top of my head.
- "I really don't know how to help him."
- "That's the worst part, you are not going actually to help him until he is ready to be helped."
I knew he was right, and that was worse, 'cos I was afraid Spencer would never be ready for help. I was terrified he would hide in the drugs forever.
- "Paco?"- I whispered and started crying
- "What is it, nugget?"
- "I really don't know what to do"- and just like that, I burst into tears. I had been holding them for weeks now, and suddenly, I just couldn't take it anymore.
- "Come on, don't cry."
Frank held me tight, and I just cried until my head hurt. We just sat there, on the couch. He hugged me and kept rocking my body until there were no more tears left inside of me.
- "Nugget, you have to be strong, as far as I know, you are the closest friend he has."
- "Yeah, I know... no pressure there, right?"- he smiled, and I sighed, closing my eyes. I felt confused and defeated. I really didn't know how to help my best friend.
- "You have to remember, you can't use aggressive language when you talk to him, no matter how mad he is driving you."
- "He yelled at me last time we talked."
- "And you yelled back, I guess"- I nodded, guilty, and stood up. I needed another beer. No, I needed something stronger.
I walked to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of scotch from my tiny, humble little bar. I didn't usually drink scotch, but I swear I needed it.
- "So, any advice? I need your best psychologist's point of view to face this mess"- I walked back to the living room and handed Frank another beer.
- "Yes, stop yelling. That will only push him away from you."
- "But he is making me mad!"
- "He is a drug addict (Y/N). This is not about you!"
- "Fair point"- I kept walking around the room, trying to breathe and calm myself down. I really needed that advice.
- "Don't harass him. You have to build trust and a safe space for him to talk to you."
- "I am his best friend. What more trust does he need?"
- "You don't have to judge him!"
- "I would never!"- and just like that, I started yelling.
- "Yeah, control your shitty temper, (Y/N)"- Frank had a point, and I hated it.
- "Noted, then what? How can I make him ask for help?"
- "You can't... you have to wait and hope for the best."
- "That's all you've got?"- Frank sighed and stood up. He walked to me and held my shoulders still so I wouldn't walk away.
- "You have to understand this: he has to want to get help. If not, you are just going to have a bunch of failed attempts that will frustrate him. And you might actually push him away from you, 'cos you and I know you will turn into this obsessive person that will be on him, day and night telling him to get help."
Frank was right. I hate when Frank is right. I'm not used to living in a world where Frank is right.
- "So, I have to wait until he wants to get better?"
- "Can I make him want to get better? Is that cheating?"- I walked back to the kitchen and grabbed a bag of chips. Each time I feel anxious, I start eating. I can't help it.
- "Listen, he won't ask for help, he won't acknowledge he has a problem, and he will probably be embarrassed he is doing drugs, so whatever you do, don't push him, ok?"
- "Yes"- I whispered- "But... making him want to get better..."
- "How would you fucking do that without pushing him?!"
- "I don't know, Frank!"- I snapped and kept eating chips for a whole minute nonstop.
- "Come on, give me that"- my friend grabbed the bad and kept it away from me- "Keep your shit together, Reid needs you."
- "How can he need me if you keep saying I can't help him?!"
- "You can. You just have to find a way to make him want to ask for help without being pushy and annoying"- I knew he was trying to help me, but it was hard to see the light at the end of that tunnel.
- "Come here"- I walked to him and felt his arms around me- "You are awesome, nugget, you are gonna be ok."
- "It's him who I'm worried about."
- "I mean, you are gonna do fine helping him. He listens to you. He is going to be ok with you."
- "Thank you..." - Frank looked at me and smiled mischievously for a second.
- "I know this is a shitty moment, but I have to tell you, the gang and me... we've been talking and, we want you to date Doc."
There's no word on earth to describe the look on my face when I heard him saying those words. He simply smiled innocently and squeezed my cheeks.
- "And you are blushing!! you are adorable."
- "Shut up!"- I was going to argue with Frank, but he was saved by my phone. JJ called. We had a case. It was time to go.
- "You know, we always whine about you never being here because of your job,"- Frank said as I drove him back home on my way to Quantico- "But I'm really proud of you, nugget."
I looked at him and noticed he was serious. He was actually tearing up.
- "I know things will never be the way they were before, and we won't hang out all the time doing anything, but the fact you are out there, making a difference, it's really inspiring."
- "I'm sorry I'm getting this emotional, I just... needed to tell you. Lu said the other day you were always in danger in this job, you are usually in gunfire and risking your life, and none of us had thought about that. So from now on, each time I see you, I'm gonna tell you: I love you, I'm proud of you, and you are my little sister, forever. ok?"
I nodded at Frank and bit my lips. I was nearly crying as I heard those words. He just smiled and held my hand for a second.
- "Take care out there, and tell me how Doc is going, ok?"- I nodded and sighed. Frank is really my brother. I love talking to him. He might act like an asshole, but he is actually one of the smartest assholes I know.
I tried to wipe off my tears as I walked into the bullpen that night, but I knew I had done a lousy job when JJ looked at me and nearly ran over, concerned.
- "Are you ok? (Y/N)?"- I just bit my lips and nodded- "Come here"- she held my hand and walked me to the bathroom.
- "What's wrong?"
I felt overwhelmed at that minute. My talk with Frank had touched a nerve, I think. So I did the last thing I thought I could do. I hugged JJ tight and held her for a few minutes. She hugged me sweetly and caressed my hair. I kept biting my lips in a poor attempt not to cry, but I knew I was failing.
- "Are you ok? Are you hurt? Did something happen with your boyfriend?"- I shook my head and sighed.
- "I'm ok. I just had a very emotional talk with a friend who basically said he thinks each time we see each other might be the last time because of my job. So that really struck a chord, you know?"
- "Come on, sweety"- JJ smiled at me and wiped off the tears from my cheeks with a tissue.
- "I know it's silly 'cos I actually already knew that. But, sometimes, we don't realize how much we do affect other people's lives. Family, friends..."
- "I know what you mean. I still can't believe what you guys do on the field. Garcia and I, we often talk about how scared we are 'cos something might happen to any of you out there."
I sighed and walked to the mirror to fix my make-up. I looked like shit.
- "Thank you,"- I whispered and looked at my friend- "I know I'm a cold bitch sometimes, but I want you to know I love you, and I love working with you."
- "Come on, you are not a cold bitch"- JJ smiled and walked to me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder as we both looked at each other in the mirror.
- "I yelled at you until you cried once,"- I said, and she simply smiled at me like it never actually happened.
- "You were under an unbearable amount of pressure, and I kind of deserved it, so... no hard feelings."
- "Thank you,"- I whispered and sighed- "Now, let me hide all these tears 'cos I don't want the team to find out I'm a human being with emotions."
- "We all know you are not Hotch"- I chuckled at JJ's words and shook my head.
- "Damn it! I'm failing in my crusade."
Spencer's point of view
(Y/N) had been crying. It was the first thing I noticed when she sat across the table from me in the briefing room. I wanted to know what was going on, but I doubted she wanted to talk to me after what had happened last night. I didn't know what to say or how to approach her. So I just sat there and looked at my notebook, sketching her in silence, not even adding facts to the conversations. I didn't want to be there.
Today was our day off. Under normal circumstances, we would have spent it together. Movies, walking, whatever we felt like doing. But no, I spent my whole free day in my house high, until we got the call to come to Quantico after lunch.
I have been trying to quit. I swear I've tried. But I can't. I can't do it on my own, and I know it. But I can't ask for help. To who? a group? Telling people I'm a drug addict fed? No, thank you. To Hotch? and risk being suspended. No way. To (Y/N)? She would help me, I know, but she wouldn't like me anymore if she knew what I've been doing. I will never face it in front of her. I rather fix this on my own and then make my best to be the old Spencer she is friends with. That's it. That's my plan.
We had to go to New Orleans. A serial killer who had killed three people before Katrina happened, and now after years, was back. They thought he had died in the storm, but suddenly, a fourth body was found. Same M.O, the same type of victim. The police department required our help. So we took the jet.
- "Hey, Reid,"- Morgan woke me from my thoughts suddenly. He was sitting next to me on the jet- "What's going on up there?"
- "Just thinking about this old friend of mine from Las Vegas, Ethan. He lives in New Orleans now."
- "Really? gonna give him a call?"
- "We grew up competing against each other in absolutely everything: Spelling bees, science fairs. we also both had our heart set on joining the bureau, but the first day at Quantico, he backed out."
I never really understood Ethan and why he decided to leave. I always thought of asking, but a part of me felt I knew the answer and didn't want to hear it.
- "Probably he just couldn't take the heat,"- Prentiss said suddenly from the other side of the place and smiled at me. Maybe she thought her comment was funny, but it wasn't. I hated it.
- "It's not really for us to judge, is it?"- she looked at me, puzzled.
- "Right, my bad."
I knew everybody on the jet thought I was rude, and I was, but honestly, I hated Prentiss's comment. I looked at (Y/N). She didn't even take her eyes from the file she read. So, of course, she was still mad at me. And I deserved it, I guess.
Unlucky for me, I was stuck with (Y/N) and Prentiss with the forensic report. We had to see the last victim and try to gather as much information as possible for the investigation. It wouldn't be so hard to work with (Y/N) under regular conditions. I love working with her. We always find a way to crack something from the case that we wouldn't have been able to see on our own.
But this time, we weren't even talking to each other. Needless to say, Prentiss, who had been the target of my hate for the last days.
- "Four layers of fatty tissue sliced through like butter,"- the medic said and shook his head as we all stared at the body- "I've only seen that three other times."
- "You worked this case initially?"- (Y/N) took the words I was going to say. She would usually do that.
- "You don't forget victims like this,"- he answered to her, shaking his head.
- "I can still smell the alcohol on him"- Prentiss pointed out the obvious.
- "This is New Orleans. Dead or alive, it's a smell you get used to."
- "The victim has no defense wounds"- I analyzed 'cos someone had to stop that chat and focus on words. Emily, of course, noticed I was annoyed and looked at me, surprised.- "Meaning this is more likely a blitz attack."
(Y/N) raised the sheet, and the two of us looked at the victim carefully. It was the closest we had been in the whole day. And I could smell her perfume. It was heartwarming, somehow.
- "No hesitation marks or rapid thrust"- she said- "These cuts were methodical, almost procedural."
- "My guess, whoever gutted this guy was taught to,"- I said and crossed my eyes, looking at my best friend. But she didn't say a word back.
- "So you think he might have some medical training?"- Emily asked her, and (Y/N) turned to look at her.
- "Yes, I think it's a good option. How else could he carve around every organ and leave each one intact?"
I kept my eyes on my best friend as Emily talked about something I didn't care about with the forensic. (Y/N) was doing her best not to look at me. That situation was killing me, knowing it was my fault.
When we walked outside, (Y/N) started talking with Emily about the victim, but that conversation soon ended when Hotch called my best friend and asked her to go to the police station. I took my chance as we walked to the SUV and whispered.
- "(Y/N)... can we talk?"
- "Not now, Spencer"- my name had never sounded so cold coming from her before. She looked at me. She wasn't mad or angry. She was just... working.
- "We have a case, maybe later, ok?"- and I just nodded.
When we walked back into the police station, after the most awkward ride back, we found Hotch standing in front of a projector, reading the letters the killer had sent chief Lamontagne, the former police on the case, who had died in Katrina. Now his son was in charge of the case, and he was pretty concerned not to disappoint the memory of his father. That was something I definitely couldn't relate to at all.
- "Is that the letter from the unsub?"- Emily kept asking the obvious questions. (Y/N) sighed and stood in the middle of the room, listening to Hotch reading the letter out loud. I stayed back, just staring at her, waiting for her analysis. I love her analysis.
- "I'm back with a vengeance. I wanted you to know the last guy made it easy, being out so late stumbling home drunk. I enjoyed slicing around his organs. I thought about sending you one. He was asking to be ripped, don't you think, boss? Yours truly"
- "To say the victims were asking to be killed denies all culpability"- (Y/N) said, and I nodded right away- "Most sexual sadist rationalize their own behavior by blaming the victims like that."
- "But there was no evidence of sexual assault in the autopsy"- Emily argued- "He could be a homosexual male stabbing because he needs violence for arousal."
- "Every kill he's acting out a fantasy of revenge"- Hotch supported those thoughts.
- "What if he's acting trying to act out something else?"- I said, connecting the dots between each murderer, 'cos they reminded me of something.
- "Like what?"- Emily asked me, but I didn't even look at her.
- "Except for the victims were men, it's the same M.O."
- "What are you talking about?"- Emily still didn't get it, but (Y/N) did, 'cos she turned to me, and her eyes were bright, and I smiled, knowing when she was thinking.
- "Jack!"- she whispered. I looked at her and nodded.
- "All four victims were found with their throats slashed, eviscerated, and the murders perpetrated in semi-public places. And the murders perpetrated in semi-public places after dark."
- "Investigators taunted with the letters addressed to "boss." The only difference is that case was one hundred years ago"- (Y/N) continued my thoughts, and I couldn't stop smiling, glad we were still able to think together like that.
- "And they took place in London"- I finished and (Y/N) nodded. But soon, her smile faded, and her eyes were locked back on the screen.
- "Jack the Ripper"- Emily finally figured it out.
- "And the unsub wants us to think that he's the modern-day version loose in New Orleans."
That night I had a shot of whisky from the mini bar, washed my face, did my best to stay calm, and walked to (Y/N)'s room. JJ opened the door. She and Emily were there with (Y/N). There were many file folders on the bed, so it was clear they were working the case. I froze for a second. I didn't expect to see them there. I took a deep breath and simply asked.
- "Hey... can we talk?"- I ignored JJ and just looked at (Y/N), whose eyes were wide open at the other side of the room.
- "Sure"- she was already in her pajamas, so she put on a hoodie and her sneakers and walked out to the hall with me.
- "Do you want to come to my room?"- I asked her when I saw her shivering- "I'm alone, we can talk, and you won't freeze to death"- and as a Christmas miracle, she accepted.
- "What is it, Spencer?"- she asked me and crossed her arms on her chest as soon as I closed my bedroom door. I stood in front of her and sighed. It was now or never. I had to do it.
- "I'm sorry I yelled at you yesterday"- and she didn't say a word. She just stared at me, waiting for me to continue talking, I guess. But believe it or not, that was all I had.
- "That's it?"- she whispered. I kept looking into her eyes, and suddenly, the only thought in my mind was to move closer to her and run my fingers through her hair. It had to feel so soft, it smelled so good. I couldn't shake the idea from my mind.
- "Spencer?"- she said and frowned. Right, I had to answer.
- "I just wanted to apologize to you. I've been in an awful mood lately 'cos I haven't been sleeping at all, and I took it out on you. I'm sorry."
Her eyes scanned me, every inch of my face and my body. Was she sure I was doing some drugs? Did she just say it because she had a hunch? Am I see-through? I didn't know the answers to any of those questions. What I did know was the fact I had to keep denying my truth.
- "It's ok, Spencer. I shouldn't have pushed you anyway,"- she whispered, and her face softened. I couldn't help it and sighed, relieved.
- "I am so, so sorry, really. I've been feeling like a scum bag the whole day, and I didn't know how to talk to you."
She took a step closer and wrapped her arms around me. Just like that, she hugged me, and I was left speechless. I held her tight and smelled her perfume around me. I prayed it would say in my pajamas, to feel it with me after she was gone.
Yes. I had feelings for my best friend, and they were becoming clearer and stronger every day. But they were a problem I couldn't deal with at that minute. Not when she was in my arms like that, hugging me as her life depended on it, making me feel I was a person worth loving.
When she slowly let me go, her eyes were filled with tears, and my heart broke. She was crying. Was it because of me? Did I hurt her that bad? I felt like the worst person on earth, and all I could do was hold her tight again, feeling her arms locked around my waist.
- "I'm so sorry, so sorry,"- I whispered, and my voice broke.
- "I don't wanna lose you, honey,"- she whispered and sobbed against the fabric of my pajamas.
- "You won't, I swear"- I held her as close as possible, as my eyes watered up too.
- "You are my best friend."
- "You are my best friend too, and I am so sorry I hurt you. I promise I won't do it again"- she looked at me with a short smile and nodded.
I leaned and kissed her forehead. I didn't even think about it. I just did it. And the knot in my stomach reminded me that was the closest I had ever been to her in my entire life.
She sighed and wiped off her tears.
- "Ok, I should go to bed now. I left the girls in my room, and they might be bored already"- I nodded and grabbed my keys.
- "Let me walk you over"- and she giggled.
- "Honey, literally, I just have to walk to the end of the hall. I'll be ok."
- "I know you will. I want to do it. I've been a jerk with you these days, and I need to make amends."
- "You should also make amends with Prentiss, don't you think?"- I just nodded and started walking with her to her room.
- "I'll talk to her tomorrow"- she held my hand and rubbed her thumbs against my skin as we walked. I loved it. I had never held someone's hand as I walked, except, of course, my mother's when I was a kid.
- "Thank you,"- she whispered as we stood outside her door. I just smiled and looked at her. In a parallel universe, I would lean in and kiss her. But in this universe, I only smiled and waved.
- "See you tomorrow, (Y/N)."
- "Goodnight, Spencer."
(Y/N)'s point of view
When I walked into my room, JJ and Prentiss were waiting for me, sitting on my bed, drinking the beer Emily had brought. They both looked at me in silence, with widened eyes for a few seconds until I shrugged.
- "So, where were we?"
- "What is wrong with Reid?"- JJ asked immediately, ignoring my comment. I just sighed and walked to get a beer. I knew there was no way I was going to get out of that conversation.
- "He has been an asshole with me for the last week"- Emily added- "I know there's something there 'cos he snapped on me the other day, he even yelled at me."
- "He yelled at me too"- I confessed- "We were just talking about that. He has been in a shitty mood."
I didn't want to mention the drug use. I wasn't sure, and I didn't know if Emily or JJ had noticed anything related to that issue.
- "Are you sure that's all that's going on with him?- Prentiss knew. She was a good profiler, and Reid wasn't too subtle either. I just looked at her and shook my head.
- "We are working on it"- I lied. I wasn't part of "working" on anything yet. But I didn't want them to get involved in that problem.
- "You can count on us too"- JJ sat next to me and held my hand- "We love Spence, and we can help him. We want to help him."
- "I know, and right now, all I can ask you to help me with is to bear with his shit for a little longer. He has big mood swings, and he has trouble sleeping..."
I tried not to give them any detailed information about his situation.
- "We are"- I didn't know how to explain- "He has to work on his shit and I'm trying to give him all the support he needs. But, he doesn't want to share this with anyone. Hotch and Gideon already talked to me."
They nodded in silence and looked at me, honesty concerned.
- "Is he..."- JJ couldn't even finish her sentence- "Do you know if he..."
- "I'm not sure"- and that time, I didn't lie- "He is not ready to give me all the details, but he is ready for help. So please, patient. If he hurts you, it's not personal. It's not him. Ok?"
My friend sighed. JJ looked at me in silence and rubbed her hand on mine again. I could tell she was concerned, and I knew she wanted to help. I just didn't know how she could help that minute.
- "You are the best friend Spencer could ever ask for,"- Emily said and smiled at me- "You are always so worried about him."
- "He is my best friend, and all I want for him is happiness,"- I said and shrugged- "He deserves it."
- "If I didn't know better, I'd say you are in love with him."
Prentiss looked into my eyes, and I didn't move a muscle for a few seconds. I knew my cheeks were turning red, but I refused to give her the wrong impression.
- "Yeah, some people usually think that when a man and a woman are best friends,"- I simply replied, and she nodded.
There was a small silence in my room. I knew Prentiss didn't mean to say that in a mean way, but I didn't feel comfortable with her comment. I think she noticed, 'cos after a few seconds, she smiled at me and turned to JJ.
- "Now, why don't we talk about detective William Lamontagne?"- and our dear JJ turned blood red right away.
- "What is there to say?"- Emily and I looked at each other and chuckled- "What? he is nice. He is very affected by the case 'cos he wants to make sure to honor his father's work."
- "I think he has been very affected by you during this case,"- I said and shook my head, as JJ tried to deny it- "Oh, come on! He has been giving you the puppy eyes the whole time we've been here! earlier at the police station, he bumped into a wall and nearly dropped his coffee 'cos he couldn't stop looking at you!!"
- "Yeah!! I saw that!!"- Prentiss said, laughing too- "You are driving that guy insane!"
- "No, I am not!"- JJ was so flustered it was both funny and cute at the same time.
- "Yes, you are. It's a shame he lives so far from home"- I sighed at my words and looked at JJ, biting her inner lip- "There are always cellphones, though."
- "Yeah! he is hot, you should ask him out when the case is done"- Prentiss supported my words, and JJ even stood up, completely blushed, and started walking around the room.
- "I am nice to him, and my focus right now is on the investigation, ok?"- Emily and I nodded.
- "Yes, we know, but you can focus on another aspect of detective Lamontagne when the investigation is over, and the case is solved"- the way JJ looked at me, I thought she was going to kill me- "What? I'm just saying!"
The next morning wasn't as pleasant as my evening with my friends. There had been another murder. The whole team stood around the dead body, talking with the police and the victim's two friends, who still couldn't believe what was going on.
- "So, the three of you were out together last night?"- Reid asked one of the victim's friends.
My friend looked calmed that day but still too pale, and the rings under his eyes were still too dark. Had he used something the night before? Was he still a little high? I had no idea. I just hoped he was in a better mood with Prentiss that day and that he could apologize to her as he had apologized to me.
- "Mark had just paid his tab at one bar, and he was on his way to meet us at another."
- "You guys get in any trouble?"- I asked, looking at their faces, trying to read if they were lying- "Drunken brawl? Anyone get out of hand?"
- "We were just out to have fun, you know. Minded our own business"- one of them answered, and you could tell he was deeply affected by the death of his friend. He really wasn't hiding anything.
- "Could Mark have met a girl? Maybe upset her boyfriend?"- Derek asked, and he looked so serious even I got a little scared of him. I knew he was trying to play "bad cop," trying to see if any of those guys were lying.
- "No, sir."
- "He struck out as we all did."
- "Thanks, guys"- Morgan nodded at them, and they turned around to talk to the police. We were left with detective Lamontagne, who honestly looked defeated.
- "It's getting hard to keep up with this guy."
- "Well, if he is mimicking Jack the Ripper, that might be precisely the point"- Emily stood next to him, and I don't know if he tried to comfort him or just tried to make him see we were all pretty confused with the case.
- "He terrorized London for months without ever getting caught."
I don't think those last words Prentiss said made him feel any better, though.
- "I'd appreciate it if you'd gather your men"- Gideon walked to Lamontagne and spoke to him in a soft voice- "We'd like to give you a profile of you're up against."
We left for the police station after that, and Reid disappeared. He told Hotch he wanted to call his friend Ethan. Maybe he might have heard or known something about the killer. It sounded like bullshit to me, but maybe talking to his friend could help him clear his mind. Ethan was his best friend in college. Perhaps he could help him, talk some sense to him. I don't know. I was trying my best to be positive.
We delivered the profile to the local police and stayed in the station. I was going over the letters again, trying to see what I was missing. And I had to do my best to look professional each time detective Will flirted with JJ. But that was the hardest task, 'cos Emily would look at me, and I had to bit my lips and close my eyes not to chuckle.
Gideon was sitting next to me, going through the files. It was nice being finally able to work along with him. After what happened with Reid, it was clear the two of us were finally on the same page. And I loved it.
My phone rang, and for a second, I thought I might be Spencer with some fresh info. But it was Garcia, also with new information.
- "Hello Garcia"
- "Munchkin, you are a smart girl. What was the thing Jack the ripper took from one of his victims?"
- "Other than his life?"
- "Yeah, besides that."
- "A kidney, gross and bloody"- only in this job you can chuckle at that kind of conversation.
- "How horrifyingly fantastic is that?"
- "I don't know. It depends. What would you need a kidney for back then? Threaten? Eat? Make a statement. But why are we talking about this?"
- "Your friendly neighbor Penelope just found an unsolved murder that happened four months ago in Galveston, Texas, with the same M.O. and the victim missing that very organ. I amaze myself."
- "I love you, you know that, right?"
- "It's impossible not to love me, munchkin. Later."
- "Thank you"
- "What's that?"- Gideon asked me as soon as I hung down.
- "Garcia found a similar case in Galveston, Texas."
- "A lot of Katrina refugees relocated there."
- "It could be the same guy. He removed a kidney, just like the ripper."- Jason looked at me and nodded.
- "Call Reid and Morgan. I want the three of you on a plane to Texas tonight."
Spencer's point of view
Ethan and I were having a drink in the local bar he played in. It was nice talking to him. Everybody knows I'm not a big fan of technology, and calling him wasn't really my thing. Just like answering my letters wasn't really his.
I was in the middle of a fascinating conversation with my friend when my phone rang. It was (Y/N). I hesitated for a second. I really wasn't in the mood for work. I wanted to be at that bar, drinking, not catching a Jack the ripper wanna be. So I didn't answer. For the first time in over three years.
- "So, are you gonna ask the question?"- Ethan turned to me suddenly and gave me an ironic smile.
- "What question?"
- "Come on, man. It's me here. We haven't talked to each other in a while. I know it's why you called me. Ask the question."
I smiled at him and sighed. He was right. I knew what he meant.
- "Why did you quit after only one day of FBI training?"- we stayed in silence for a second. Then, finally, Ethan sipped his drink and sighed.
- "I'm sure you've considered the evidence, analyzed the signs. What's your theory?"
He was right again. More than an answer, I needed him to confirm my hypothesis.
- "You were battling your own demons. You didn't have time to analyze someone else's."
That wasn't just what I thought he had been through. That's what I thought I was going through as well. I had so much in my mi, and I felt overwhelmed by the case. I didn't know if I had what it took to be an SSA. I didn't know if I wanted to be one anymore.
I thought the only person who could guide me was Ethan. That's why I didn't answer the phone that minute, when (Y/N) started calling me again.
- "The batphone"- Ethan teased me, and I felt I was forced to smile. But, to be honest, I wasn't in the mood for jokes. I wasn't in the mood for anything but maybe a little fix to deal with my head.
- "Do you ever regret it?"- I don't know why I asked if I knew his answer before he even opened his mouth.
- "I may not be changing the world, but music makes me happy."- he made a pause and looked right into my eyes- It doesn't take a profiler to see that you are not.
I don't know if I'm too obvious or my friends know me too well. Ethan walked to a couch, and I followed him, holding my brandy.
- "It's not easy. And it's not... I don't think you believe some of the things that I've seen."
- "John Coltrane"- he said as I sat on another small couch across from him- "He was a genius too. Died of cancer, but most people think it was the booze and heroin that did him in."
- "What are you trying to say?"- it was clear where this was going.
- "You look like hell,"- I grunted and shook my head.
- "I'm fine."
- "Come on, man, I'm a jazz musician in New Orleans. I know what it looks like when someone's not well"- I made my best not to look at him and kept my eyes on the carpet.
- "This may be the only time I can tell you something that you don't already know. That might help you forget, but it won't make it go away."
I hated to hear that, 'cos I knew it was true. And it was the one thing I really didn't want to deal with.
- "And if I can tell"- he continued- "You are surrounded by some of the best minds in the world. And if you think they don't notice..."- I finally looked at him, and he simply shook his head- "Well, for a genius, that's just dumb."
I was left sitting at that bar, speechless. Drinking my brandy, not ready to face my truth or my own mind. (Y/N) kept calling me, and I just kept ignoring her. I couldn't deal with work. I couldn't deal with her either. I couldn't deal with anything that wasn't that glass of brandy in my hand, and the second I was about to ask.
Ethan's words broke a record in my head, repeating over and over: "That might help you forget, but it won't make it go away."
Well, that night, I was just trying to forget, I guess.
The next morning I arrived at the police station alone. Everybody was already there. I knew what I was going to, but I couldn't avoid it. I didn't really care that much that moment. I was still numb inside, not sure if I wanted to be there. I just didn't know where else in the world I could be.
- "Hey, you guys are back from Galveston?"- I asked Morgan and (Y/N), trying to look cool. But neither of them looked happy.
- "First light this morning. Where were you?"- Derek asked as (Y/N) kept her eyes on the file she was reading.
- "I was out with a friend. I already told you"- I sat at the table and sipped my coffee.
- "I called you four times- (Y/N) murmured and kept reading. She didn't even want to look at me, obviously.
- "I didn't have any cell phone reception. So I didn't get your message until late."
I had practiced that excuse the whole way back from the hotel. It's what I had told Hotch when he called me earlier. But somehow, I knew it was going to be harder to bullshit (Y/N). Like she always says: "You can't bullshit a bullshitter."
- "Sure, whatever helps you sleep"- she simply answered and looked away.
I really didn't want to be there. I'm not good at dealing with (Y/N) mad at me. I swear I can take Morgan, or Hotch, even Gideon. But her? it physically hurt to see her ignoring me like that.
- "What's going on?"- I asked in the softest voice I could and looked at Morgan. He took a good look at me, frowning. And finally, he answered.
- "Our unsub is a woman"- ok, that was new.
- "We just found another body at the quarter,"- Hotch said, walking over us. And that was the end of the awkward meeting.
That was a miserable day. Morgan tried to talk to me about why I had missed the plane, why I hadn't answered my phone. Why I wasn't really talking with anybody. But I didn't want to explain what was happening to me. To make it worse, (Y/N) didn't even look at me for the rest of the day, and I never found the guts to walk to her room and apologize for being a jerk. Again. I wasn't sure what to do about anything anymore.
The night was eternal. I made my best not to use, and spent most of the time walking around the room. The only way I could find to use my mind was to write a letter. I wrote one to my mom. I always write to her. I also wrote one to (Y/N). It was long. I didn't know how to start. Then I didn't know how to stop. And then, I threw it out. It felt good to put my thoughts and feelings down on paper, but she could never read any of the things I wrote.
It was a good idea to write her a letter instead of talking face to face. I felt like a coward... to be fair, I was one. But I just couldn't find a way to tell her how I felt without being caught up with my own words. Maybe I could give it another try when my head was less overwhelmed. Maybe back home.
The case was over by the next day. We caught the unsub before she killed another victim, and I had time to visit Ethan before we left. That's where Gideon found me. I was sitting close to the stage, enjoying my friend's performance when he appeared and sat next to me.
- "How did you find me?"
- "You are not at all hard to profile"- he didn't even look at me. He just sat there in silence and enjoyed the music for a moment- "Your friend is good."
I wanted to tell him everything, but I didn't want him to know at the same time. To be fair, I was sure he already knew. We stayed in silence for a long while, I kept trying to find a way to tell him what was happening, but after a few minutes, the best I could do was:
- "I missed that plane on purpose."
- "I know"- of course he did. So I took a deep breath and tried my best to be honest.
- "I'm struggling"- and I meant everything: my life, my job, drugs. My mental sanity was nonexistent. I needed his advice. And that was the best (and only) way I thought I could get it.
- "Well, anybody who's been through what you've been through recently would"- his voice was soft and warm. He wasn't judging me, and that made me feel relieved. Obviously, he knew what I was talking about, but neither of us was going to say it.
- "It's all I was groomed for. I never even considered another option."
- "Now you are questioning whether or not you are strong enough to be here?"- I nodded and sighed. He was right.
- "Reid, I have been playing at this job in one way or another for almost thirty years. I've felt lost. I've felt great. I've felt scared, sick, and insane."
He looked at me and shrugged. I was fighting the tears back. I wouldn't have been the first time Gideon would see me crying, but I didn't want to scramble in front of him that day.
- "I guess the day this job stops gnawing at your soul and your hands stop feeling cold, maybe that's it's time to leave"
I gave his words a little thinking, trying to rearrange the thoughts inside my head. I was still confused and still lost, but there was something I knew.
- "I guess I just needed to try to figure out if I could step away from this job."
- "I'll never miss another plane again."
@all-tings-diego @big-galaxy-chaos @svveet-peas @muffin-cup @shilohpug
Do you want to be on the taglist or ramble about this chapter with me? Just send me a message here.
Next update: May 12th, 2021
61 notes · View notes